Bank deposits declined again in January, ECB data shows

Firms and consumers continued to pull their money out of Greek banks at a rapid rate in January, European Central Bank data showed on Monday, underscoring the ongoing lack of trust the country’s banking system faces.

Private sector deposits in Greek banks fell by almost 3 percent in January after a slight increase in December, with the total falling to 174.9 billion euros, the lowest level since November 2006.

They are now about 28 percent below their peak in December 2009.

Private-sector deposits in Portugal and other countries in the middle of the debt crisis fared much better, however. In Portugal, they increased fractionally, to 233.2 billion. Deposits fell slightly in Italy, Ireland and Spain.

With the exception of Portugal, there has been a steady decline in the amount of money parked in banks in all peripheral countries in the last year.

Monthly fluctuations in the figures are common, though sharp consecutive drops in countries with stable banking systems are unusual.

The data, which are for all currencies combined, are not seasonally adjusted and differ slightly from national central bank figures. The measure excludes deposits from central government and financial institutions.